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Lying to GoogleBot

Can you deliver one page to Googlebot and another to Joe Public?

     
7:37 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Whilst in the shower I had a silly thought. Is it possible using SSI/PERL (and environment vars) to deliver one page to Googlebot (or any other search engine) and another page to the public?

If this is possible, getting hidden text into the Google index would be a breeze - just don't hide it when delivering it to the robot.

Of course, this would open up a number of other possibilities, like putting lightweight spam in the robot version of a page and none in the public version. You could even add a little javascript to ensure that both versions are rendered identically (in case a competitor decides to look at the cached version of a page).

All I know about PERL/SSI is what I needed to write my own page/download counters. And I've forgotten much of that.

So, does anyone out there know if this is technically possible?

7:38 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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yes it is possible.

Dayo_UK

7:39 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Pretty sure you are thinking of Cloaking - I would suggest heading towards the cloaking forum - and make sure you are fully aware of the pitfalls!

<edit> Typos! - and I think this post has been moved to Cloaking :)</edit>

[edited by: Dayo_UK at 7:42 pm (utc) on May 28, 2003]

7:40 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yes I think the name for this is 'Cloaking'!
7:41 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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take a look at these
Cloaking : Webmaster World Knowledge base excerpt. [webmasterworld.com]
The Truth About Cloaking [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: jatar_k at 7:42 pm (utc) on May 28, 2003]

7:41 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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thread moved. and welcome to the lion's den, kaled.
7:46 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I wondered what cloaking was - seen it mentioned a couple of times. This isn't something I was intending to try myself. I don't have the time nor the inclination.

Thanks for the very speedy replies though.

Dayo_UK

7:49 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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:) We all have thoughts while in the shower, driving the car, in our dreams, doing the gardening etc :)
4:45 am on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sad to say, but I think some of my best strategies come to me in the shower too..
1:17 pm on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This isn't something I was intending to try myself. I don't have the time nor the inclination.

Search for cloaking at DMOZ and you will get a nice list of software already written.

1:25 pm on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sad to say, but I think some of my best strategies come to me in the shower too..

Mine come in dreams ;)

11:39 am on June 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Mine happen by accident.
11:43 am on June 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I make mine up as I go along! :)

Scott

12:16 pm on June 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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On the original topic of the convo? Does anyone know any good cloaking programs (which are free) that I can get my hands on.

Preferably a Perl one because im trying to learn how to write Perl and it would be an eye opener.

6:22 am on June 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i know nothing about PHP or PERL but i have leant a bit of javascript, would it be possible to have two pages, set page1 to no spidering so it will not be cached by googlebot and leave out the keyword and desciption metatags, page2 could have a onload event that replaces page2 with page1 which would be viewed by the user. you could add your spam to page 2 and no one would pick it up (not that i would).
would this work or is it a stupid idea?
4:12 pm on June 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know any good cloaking programs (which are free) that I can get my hands on.

Chances of finding one for free is slim, but they all pretty much do the same thing, so you could always write your own. Before you begin to make your own though, you will need to target the methods that worked for you, and new method ideas as well, since the engines are changing so quickly. Custom is almost always better than one distributed to the public, because it will give you an edge over what the other guys could be using.

2:36 pm on June 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know any good cloaking programs (which are free) that I can get my hands on.

Our standard answer to this question-- Look here: [dmoz.org...]

Some are free, some are commercial, and some are shareware.